Princeton Field Hockey Ready to Open 2014 Campaign Against Duke, Virginia
|2014 Princeton Field Hockey Opening Weekend
| Princeton Preseason
||Preseason Video l Audio Podcast l Week 1 Game Notes (PDF)|
|Gametimes||Friday, Sept. 5 at Duke (4:30 p.m.) l Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium (Durham, N.C.)|
|Sunday, Sept. 7 at Virginia (11:30 a.m.) l University Hall Turf Field (Charlottesville, Va.)|
|Game Coverage||Duke: Webstream l Virginia: Webstream/Live Stats|
|Twitter: @PUTigers l @Duke_ATHLETICS l @VirginiaSports|
| All-Time Series
||Princeton leads Duke, 5-2 l Virginia leads Princeton, 4-3|
|Last Meeting||Duke: Sept. 6, 2013 - W, 3-1 (Box/Recap) l Virginia: Oct. 7, 2011 - W, 2-1 (Box/Recap)|
| Records (As of 9/3/14)
||Princeton (0-0) l Duke (2-0) l Virginia (1-1)|
|Princeton||Roster l Schedule l Stats (2013) l @TigerFH|
||Roster l Schedule l Stats l @Duke_FH|
|Virginia||Roster l Schedule l Stats l @uvafieldhockey
PRINCETON FIELD HOCKEY WEEK 1 GAME NOTES (PDF)
The Year That Was
Piecing together another successful season, the Princeton University field hockey team posted a 14-5 (7-0 Ivy) record in 2013 en route to a 22nd Ivy League championship and 17th NCAA Tournament appearance. Winning eight of their final nine games, the Tigers advanced to the national quarterfinals for the 13th time in program history, eventually losing to then-No. 1 Maryland (3-2). Princeton players swept the conference’s top awards for the second consecutive season (Michelle Cesan ’14 - OPOY, Julia Reinprecht ’14 - DPOY, Annabeth Donovan - Co-ROY) with seven different student-athletes garnering all-league recognition.
No Rest for the Weary
Several members of Princeton field hockey family kept busy this summer with stints on various levels of the US national program. Seeing time on the senior national squad, alumnae Katie Reinprecht ’13, Julia Reinprecht ’13 and Kathleen Sharkey ’13 helped Team USA to a fourth-place showing at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. In mid-June, current Tigers Cat Caro, Anya Gersoff, Allison Evans, Annabeth Donovan and Kate Ferrara joined head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn at the Women’s National Championship with Caro and Donovan later returning to Lancaster, Pa. in August to train with the USA U-21 team.
A couple of Tigers are closing in on personal milestones this season. One of the most prolific scorers in program history, Allison Evans has 84 career points (34G, 16A). A second-team All-Ivy pick a year ago, Evans racked up 11 goals and a career-best six assists, factoring into the scoring in 12 contests while finding the back of the opposition’s net in nine outings. With 16 more points, the senior would become just the ninth Tiger to reach the 100-point plateau. In her first two years in Orange and Black, Evans appeared in 40 games, amassing 23 goals and 10 assists.
Entering her 12th season at the helm of the Princeton program, head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn stands just five victories shy of her 150th career win. Since her arrival in 2003, the Tigers have amassed a 145-62 (73-4 Ivy) record en route to 10 league titles. Under her tutelage, Princeton won its first-ever national championship in 2012, while reaching the national semifinals in 2009 and quarterfinals in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013.
Four current Princeton players nabbed a spot on last season’s All-Ivy squad, led by Teresa Benvenuti and Annabeth Donovan, who each picked up first-team accolades. Allison Evans earned a second-team selection while Sydney Kirby took home honorable mention laurels. Continuing to haul in postseason awards, Benvenuti and Donovan also found their way onto the NFHCA All-Region squads, with Benvenuti ultimately getting a third-team All-America nod.
Freshmen Sarah Brennan, Danielle Duseau, Ryan McCarthy, Rachel Park and Lexi Quirk join the Princeton field hockey family this season. Brennan was a first-team All-State defender at Princeton Day, while Duseau won a pair of Western MA titles at Smith Academy. McCarthy garnered two All-America citations while at Oak Knoll, while Park was a first-team Mid-Atlantic All America pick from the Bryn Mawr School. A four-year standout at Needham High, Quirk was the Bay State MVP in 2013.
Under Kristen Holmes-Winn, Princeton is 7-4 on opening day. Managing just one season-opening triumph through the coach’s first five years, the Tigers have won each of their past six first openers dating back to 2008. Last year, Princeton defeated No. 10 Duke, 3-1. During its current opening day win streak, three have come against ranked opponents.
The Road to Come
Princeton opens its 2014 campaign with a pair of tough road games at NFHCA preseason No. 4 Duke and No. 6 Virginia. In all, the Tigers’ challenging season slate includes seven games against opponents that earned NCAA Tournament berths last year with eight teams currently slotted in the preseason top-20. Things don’t get any easier for Princeton after the opening weekend with showdowns against No. 8 Penn State (9/12), No. 19 American (9/21), No. 5 Syracuse (10/5), No. 18 Delaware (10/10), No. 1 Maryland (10/15) and No. 3 UConn (10/26) looming. In 2013, the Orange and Black went 3-5 against teams in the top-20. Splitting a pair of games against Penn State (L, 4-3/W, 5-4), Princeton also turned away then-No. 10 Duke (3-1) and No. 15 Albany (5-3). The Tigers’ losses to ranked opponents came at the hands of then-No. 5 Syracuse (4-0), No. 3 UConn (1-0) and No. 1 Maryland (3-1/3-2).
The Ivy League’s highest-scoring offense a year ago (61 G - 3.2 gpg), the Princeton front line will hope to get the better of Duke’s Lauren Blazing. In 24 appearances a year ago, the standout goalkeeper went 17-7 while leading the ACC and ranking fifth in the country in save percentage (.792). Picking up right where she left off, Blazing made nine stops in the Blue Devils’ 2-1 season-opening overtime victory over Michigan St. before tacking on two stops in a 4-1 win over Central Michigan.
Picked to finish second in the league, Duke placed three players on the conference’s Preseason All-ACC team. Coming off a NFHCA third-team All-America selection in 2013, redshirt junior goalkeeper Lauren Blazing joined midfielder Aileen Johnson and defender Amanda Kim as Duke’s representatives.
Outscoring its opponents 6-2, Duke enters Friday’s showdown against Princeton with an unblemished 2-0 mark. Freshmen Ainsley Gill and Alexa Mackintire both scored in their collegiate debuts with Mackintire’s goal in the 85th minute proving to be the difference against Michigan State. With both teams notching seven penalty corners, the Blue Devils finished with a slim 18-15 shot advantage over the Spartans. Behind senior Jessica Buttinger’s two scores, Duke made quick work of Central Michigan, 4-1. Outshooting the Chippewas 29-6, the Blue Devils also got goals from Hunter Bracale and Ainsley Gill.
Not to be Overlooked
Despite being picked to finish sixth in the ACC, Virginia enters 2014 as one of the nation’s top-ranked teams, edging out Princeton by one point for the sixth in the NFHCA poll. The Cavaliers return three of their top four scorers from last season: Caleigh Foust, Riley Tata and Lucy Hyams, who was named the 2013 ACC Freshman of the Year. Virginia also boasts a talented rookie class that includes US junior national team midfielder Tara Vittese, who became the first player in program history to be voted onto the Preseason All-ACC team. Cruising to a 9-0 victory over William & Mary in its season opener, Virginia had 10 players factor into the scoring with six recording goals. The Cavaliers then stumbled at No. 8 Penn State (3-0) on Aug. 31 and will face Iowa before meeting the Tigers on Sunday.